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Me, Myself, and I


for Members

Me, Myself, and I

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Nour Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences


How did the modern concept of the Self emerge as a subject? Does the Self described by the classical Greeks, Aquinas, and philosophers of the Enlightenment match the reality of what we know about ourselves through human experience and psychological research?

Historians Gerald Izenberg and Jerrold Seigel, philosopher Raymond Martin, and sociologist Norbert Wiley will trace the evolution of the meaning of Self from antiquity to the present and will consider whether the Self described by classical philosophers matches the reality of what we know about ourselves from human experience and research.

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Robert Hanna, PhD, University of Colorado


Gerald Izenberg, PhD, Washington University, St. Louis

Raymond Martin, PhD, University of Maryland and Union College

Jerrold Seigel, PhD, New York University

Norbert Wiley, PhD, University of Illinois

Reception to follow.

This event is part of a 6-part series, Perspectives on the Self: Conversations on Identity and Consciousness, bringing together experts from science and the humanities for an interdisciplinary discussion of the evolving notion and experience of the Self.

To Be or Not To Be: The Self as Illusion, December 7, 2010
Quid Pro Quo: The Ecology of The Self, February 23, 2011
The Pursuit of Immortality: From the Ego to the Soul, March 23, 2011
A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Linking Belief to Behavior, April 28, 2011
Me, Myself, and I: The Rise of the Modern Self, May 12, 2011
Who Am I?: Beyond 'I Think, Therefore I Am', May 24, 2011

Each event in the series will also be broadcast as a webinar.

Please note:
Transmission of presentations via the webinar is subject to individual consent by the speakers. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that every speaker's presentation will be broadcast in full via the webinar. To access all speakers' presentations in full, we invite you to attend the live event in New York City where possible.

Presented by


Robert Hanna, PhD

University of Colorado

Robert Hanna is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He received his PhD in philosophy from Yale in 1989 and his honors BA in philosophy from the University of Toronto. His areas of research and specialization include: (1) Kant, (2) the history of analytic philosophy, (3) philosophical logic, (4) the philosophy of mind, cognition, and action, and (5) ethics.  In connection with those areas, he has published a number of journal articles and is the author of four books: Kant and the Foundations of Analytic Philosophy (2001), Kant, Science and Human Nature (2006), Rationality and Logic (2006), and Embodied Minds in Action, co-authored with Michelle Maiese (2009). He is currently working on a book project called The Rational Human Condition.

Gerald Izenberg, PhD

Washington University, St. Louis

Gerald Izenberg is Professor Emeritus of History at Washington University in St. Louis, where he taught modern European intellectual and cultural history for 35 years. He is also a practicing psychoanalyst, faculty member of the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute and former president of the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Society. He has written a number of books on the concept of the self in European thought since the French Revolution, including The Existentialist Critique of Freud: The Crisis of Autonomy; Impossible Individuality: Romanticism, Revolution and the Origins of Modern Selfhood, 1787-1802, and Modernism and Masculinity: Mann, Wedekind and Kandinsky Through World War I. He has been a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study and currently holds a Mellon Emeritus Fellowship to write a history of the concept of identity in the twentieth century.

Raymond Martin, PhD

University of Maryland and Union College

Raymond Martin was Professor of Philosophy and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland College Park and subsequently Dwane W. Crichton Professor of Philosophy at Union College, in Schenectady, New York. He has published widely on the self and personal identity theory, most recently in his books The Rise And Fall Of Soul And Self: An Intellectual History of Personal Identity (2006), Naturalization Of The Soul: Self & Personal Identity in the Eighteenth Century (2000), and Self-Concern (1998). Currently Martin lives in Bradenton, Florida and New Haven, Nova Scotia. 

Jerrold Seigel, PhD

New York University

Jerrold Seigel is the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of History Emeritus at New York University, where he taught from 1988 to 2006. Before arriving at NYU he taught for twenty-five years at Princeton, where he received a PhD in 1963. He received a BA in History and Literature magna cum laude from Harvard in 1958, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. His first field of historical specialization was the Italian Renaissance, but since the 1970s he has concentrated chiefly on more recent topics, beginning with Marx's Fate: The Shape of a Life. His next book, Bohemian Paris: Culture, Politics, and the Boundaries of Bourgeois Life, 1830-1930, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award in criticism. More recently he has written The Private Worlds of Marcel Duchamp: Desire, Liberation, and the Self in Modern Culture and The Idea of the Self: Thought and Experience in Western Europe since the Seventeenth Century. His current project is called Modernity and Bourgeois Life. He has held fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation and was twice a Visitor at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has twice served as a visiting lecturer at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris, and in 2000 as a Resident at the American Academy in Rome. 

Norbert Wiley, PhD

University of Illinois

Norbert Wiley is Professor Emeritus in Sociology at the University of Illinois, Urbana.  He has a Master's degree in Philosophy from Notre Dame (1958) and a PhD in Sociology from Michigan State University (1962).  He has written The Semiotic Self (1994) and is working on Inner Speech and the Reflexive Self and On Structure and Agency.  He has also written (with Joseph Perry and Arthur Neal) The Bowling Green Uprising:  How the Quiet Fifties became the Political Sixties, in press. Wiley has been working toward two goals. His first is to put together the classical American pragmatist theory of the self, thus far integrating the ideas of Charles Sanders Peirce and George Herbert Mead. This shows that pragmatism has a powerful theory of the self, perhaps the most illuminating idea in American philosophy. It is a highly emancipating theory, which explains the underlying egalitarianism of Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. His second goal is to show how self and society intertwine; his book on the Bowling Green Uprising and his upcoming book on Structure and Agency address this theme.


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